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This is why it was so important that Jones stay on with the team after former manager Jim Leyland retired and Brad Ausmus took over before last year. Despite the starting squad taking a step back in 2014, toppling to the mid-range of the AL after spending time on the top in most recent years, Jones has a plan in place to get to know new pitchers to the staff. Shawn Windsor outlines this process.
Next up, Tiger Tales looks at potentially how many runs the Detroit pitching staff will allow.
Finally we shift to the offensive side of things and look at the hart of the lineup.
Jones helps Tigers pitchers by talking first – Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press
"The Detroit Tigers begin spring-training workouts in about three weeks. But really, the season already has started. In a van. Two weeks ago. When pitching coach Jeff Jones chatted with new starters Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene as the team traveled around metro Detroit during its winter caravan.Those conversations are crucial to the team’s success. As good as the lineup might be, it’s still about pitching. The key to maximizing that pitching began last month.First with small talk. Then with substance.What is your routine between starts? How much do you throw in the bullpen? What pitches do you like most? Like least? What pitches are you uncomfortable using when a runner’s on third?Before Jones can help Simon follow last year’s breakout season with another, before he can help coax the next level from Greene, he must get to know them, understand them."
How Many Runs Will The Tigers Allow in 2015? – Lee Panas, Tiger Tales
"The Tigers allowed 705 runs in 2014 which was lower than only five other American League teams. That was 81 runs more than the 624 they allowed in 2013 when they had one of the best rotations in recent history. While their starters remained relatively strong last year, they were bogged down by a leaky defense and equally inept bullpen.The return of shortstop Jose Iglesias and additions of outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Anthony Gose should give them a much improved defense. This might help Justin Verlander, who may have had some bad luck on batted balls (.317 Batting Average on Balls In Play) last year. On the other hand, off-season acquisition Alfredo Simon will be leaving the Reds who led the majors in Defensive Runs Saved."
Detroit Tigers: Looking at the heart of the lineup – Ryan Dunne, iSportsWeb
"The Detroit Tigers arguably have the best lineup in the American League. From top to bottom, it is hard to find many lineups in the league that can compare when all the players are healthy and playing well. But when it comes to the heart of the order, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and J.D. Martinez stand alone as not only the best in the American League, but arguably in all of baseball.Now time to take a look at all three players from their projected lineup spot."